"Forget Prince Charming. I'll take the wolf." - Emily the Strange

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hatin' On Grandma

Two weeks into my grandparents’ four-week vacation here in Manila and I’m more than willing to shove my paternal grandmother on a plane back to L.A. at this point. We’ve had a long history of our opinions clashing and I’m highly volatile when I’m around her. That’s why it literally takes the Pacific Ocean to maintain peace and harmony in the family. One thing that I’ve managed to learn over the years is how to hold my tongue and release my very scathing tirades at a later time when I’m in the company of my sister Louise and her very sympathetic ear.

I am very lucky because I only get to see this particular grandmother once in a blue moon. At the same time, I feel pity for Louise because she’s had to live with our grandmother when she spent 5 months in L.A. For that, I view her with high regard in terms of her tolerance factor. I don’t know how she was able to withstand our grandmother’s very grating personality. Perhaps, I will never know.

What got me so worked up this time? As usual, it has everything to do with her being a devout Catholic. I know I’ve written about some of previous clashes but I just can’t remember when or what the post’s title is. Anyway, she again imposes her faith on us and forces us to attend mass. My dad, being the dutiful son, carries out her mandate.

Why the hell can’t she leave me alone? I’ve let her know for the longest time that I don’t consider myself Catholic and she still doesn’t get it. What would it take for her to get off my case? Burn the crucifix and her ever beloved statues? Nah, too dramatic. Wear my pentagram and my triquetra? She probably wouldn’t notice.

The only thing I could think of is to skip town during the weekends that they’re here. The question is – where would I go? Ramon and I have been planning to go to Subic. If his schedule wouldn’t permit it then there’s always Angel. But then again, she might do something with Jonee. Hmm, it might be a good idea to plan for another reunion with my high school and college cliques.

Anyways, I’m happy that for this week, my grandparents and my dad had a schedule to keep. They left the house before they were able to see us off to church. Angelee was okay with attending mass. Louise was willing to hear mass at first but lost interest quickly after she kept on nagging about how on-time we were for our jobs but not for church. She’d continue with how much of an obligation it is for Catholics since Sunday only comes around once a week. Fine, I get it but will you sink in your puny brain that I am no longer in the Catholic fold?!?

I find it pointless to go to church because you have to and not because you want to. It’s very hypocritical and I hate hypocrites and hypocrisy most of all. Wouldn’t her god be very offended by that?

Angelee and I played paper, scissors, stone to determine whose will will prevail – mine or hers. I won and everybody began to relax a bit. I went to our room to put on some clothes as I just got out of the shower with only my underwear on and my towel wrapped around me. I was picking out a shirt from my closet when Louise barged in and told me to get dressed as if I was going out of the house. My dad unexpectedly returned to check on his computer.

As soon as I finished dressing up, I went to the living room to check if my dad’s still there. Whew! We were all glad that we didn’t get busted but that was a pretty close call for us to be completely comfortable. We then decided to leave the house to make it appear that we really did what we were told. We ended up going to the fishball joint across the church for a quick snack, visited a couple of sari-sari stores as Angelee was hell bent on finding plastic balloons to play with and to the beauty salon for me and Louise to get our nails done.

Moral lesson of the story – never force your faith and belief systems on anyone. It’s always better for them to do something sincerely because it’s their choice. I believe that just as each one of is unique, we all have our own moral compass. What might work for you might not work for me. Second lesson would have to be tolerance for each person’s truths, belief systems and moral compass.

2 Comments:

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